It was reported that last year in the United States alone, there were over 60 million prescriptions filled for sleeping pills. A recent study reported in a reliable British Medical Journal revealed what I feel could be some eye opening news. The study compared 10,529 people who were taking prescription sleeping pills to 23,676 people with similar health histories who did not take sleeping pills.
The study documented a 35 percent increase risk of certain types of cancer seen in the people who took sleeping pills. The types of cancers listed are lymphoma, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer.
It was also reported that people who took 132 or more sleeping pills a year have a five-times higher risk of death, as well as a higher cancer risk. It is well known that each year that has passed more and more people are becoming stressed with everyday life. The negatives that are constantly bombarding us on the news about the bad economy, the constant recalls of our food, the bullying that is going on with our children, and more. You ask, “When is it going to stop?” No wonder people are having such a hard time sleeping. Life is sometimes hard and just not fair! So what is there to do? Now one can not even trust to get a good night sleep with sleeping pills.
It has been said that heart disease is the silent killer. I believe stress is the silent killer. Stress can cause one not to sleep, can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and can help decrease the immune system’s ability to fight for us. A good night sleep is mandatory, not an option!
I want to mention a couple of items that I believe in to help relax you before going to bed. Of course, you will want to check with your doctor for I am not prescribing, I am just trying to educate and inform you on other options that may or may not work.
First, a dark room. Turn the TV off. Have you ever been camping? For those of you who have, you woke up the minute the sun hit your head. Theres’ a reason for that. The light affected your cortisol level which signaled your body that it was time to wake up.
A good cup of chamomile tea before going to bed may help relax you. The herb chamomile is one of the best known herbs of all times. It has been in continuous use from the time of the Egyptians. Chamomile’s name is derived from the Greek “chamaimelon” meaning ‘apple on the ground’ since it is apple scented. Chamomile acts as a calmative and a mild nervine. Remember, don’t drink too much so you will not need to get up during the night to go to the bathroom.
A nice little pillow of the Lavender Herb is great to take to bed with you. This can be as simple as putting the lavender flower in a sock or as elaborate as sewing fancy small pillows to tuck into your pillow. The smell is wonderful and is also a mild nervine that can help calm the nerves. Our olfactory sense is one of our most powerful senses we have. Smells can be remembered for years.
Melatonin is another good sleep aid but melatonin is not a sleeping pill. A lot of people like to think they can take it as a sleeping pill but it will not put you to sleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone. If taken at least 30 minutes before bedtime, it can help relax you. I must tell you that this is a good sleep aid to help relax you but you must be careful. Since melatonin is a natural hormone which works with the body’s cortisol levels, it should never be taken in the day time, only at night. If taken in the daytime the body’s hormones may get confused and there possibly could be problems with the pituitary gland. However, if taken at night, the studies all reveal it is safe.
One last thing I feel is important. From my own experience, talking to someone and expressing your feelings (good or bad) is like magic. Im not sure I would know what to do if I did not have my family to talk to. It’s like taking a load off your shoulders. I once had a friend who told me that when she needed to talk to someone, sometimes she would go to the nearest grave yard and just sit, talk and cry. She stated that she never knew who was buried there but she was grateful they didn’t judge her or talk back. She also made a good point that no one thought anything about her crying because most people cry when they go to a grave site. Well, what ever it takes to keep us mentally healthy and be able to get a good nights sleep.
- Sleeping Pills Called “as Risky as Cigarettes” (webmd.com)
- Will That Sleeping Pill Give You A Heart Attack Or Cancer? (denver.cbslocal.com)
- 5 great natural sleep aids (mnn.com)